Schumacher determined to return

Stefan Schumacher put in a solo bid

Stefan Schumacher put in a solo bid (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Stefan Schumacher sees no reason why he won't ride again in 2009. "I am innocent, I love this job and I am only 27-years-old. I want to win races again," he said in an interview on Sunday.

The former Gerolsteiner rider tested positive for the new EPO derivative CERA during this year's Tour de France. He has continually denied having doped.

In an interview with the Sonntag aktuell magazine, he said that he has applied for his 2009 license with the German federation, and assumes it will be granted "There is not even an investigation of me. There is no reason why they should not issue me a license."

The French anti-doping agency AFLD has scheduled a hearing for Schumacher in January, and the German federation has said that it does not intend to act on Schumacher's license application until after that hearing.

The 27-year-old had signed a contract with the Belgian team Quick-Step for the coming year, but team manager Patrick Lefevere had declared the contract "void" after news of the positive doping control was announced in October.

It is "not an easy situation for my new employer Quick-step", Schumacher acknowledged. "When I get a license, then we will surely sit down and talk. And it is clear: I will get the license, I have a valid contract and I have the goal of being successful with Quick Step."

Quick Step spokesman Alessandro Tegner told the dpa press agency that it was news to him that Schumacher wanted to speak with the team again. "At this time it is clear: Schumacher is out of our team."

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